Medicaid, guns top legislative agenda for McAuliffe, Northam

Medicaid, guns top legislative agenda for McAuliffe, Northam

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Governor-elect Ralph Northam announced their joint legislative agenda at the Capitol on Tuesday.

Now that more Democrats have been elected to the House of Delegates this year, they're hoping to pass some bills they've been trying to pass for years.

At the top of their list is Medicaid expansion. The Republican-controlled legislature has shot it down for the last four years.

Northam argues it will not only cover 400,000 more Virginians, it will help shore up struggling rural hospitals, and help in battling the opioid crisis.

Next on their list is universal background checks for gun purchases.

"Three thousand eight hundred fifty-four firearms purchases through federally licensed firearms dealers were rejected.  So if we had 3,500 that were rejected by federal dealers, think how many were going to private sellers," said McAuliffe.

McAuliffe and Northam also want to create no-excuse absentee voting for 21 days before the election, have Virginia join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to reduce carbon emissions at power plants, and create a Borrower's Bill of Rights to help protect student loan borrowers.

They're also proposing bills to raise the felony larceny threshold from $200 to $1,000 and ban politicians from using campaign contributions for personal use.

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